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The UAE has decided to oppose European Union's decision to impose customs duties on the country's plastics exports local media reported.

"The UAE will work through official channels to halt the protectionist customs duties imposed by the EU on its plastics imports from the country under the excuse that such products receive direct subsidy from the government and hence they harm local (EU) plastics producers," the Ministry said in a statement.

"The Ministry will ask the EU Commission, in accordance with WTO agreements, to open an interim review to ascertain the absence of any subsidy on its plastics production, which removes a main element for the continuation of such duties."

The EU said this week it had imposed new duties on plastics from the UAE, Iran and Pakistan, saying the three were illegally subsidizing exports to Europe.

The decision means Polyethylene Terephthalate from the UAE, Iran and Pakistan, used for bottles and food packaging will face EU import duties of 44.02 euros, 139.70 euros, and 42.34 euros per tonne respectively until 2015.

The GCC and the EU have been negotiating for 20 years on a free trade agreement (FTA) that could remove European duties on Gulf petrochemical exports and open the door for an industrial investment to the region to support its diversification programmes.